Piggy Paint Non-Toxic Chemical-Free Nail Polish Contains Toxic Chemicals

18 May

May 17, 2011 – So after yet another phone call from a concerned consumer, I have decided to update on the Piggy Paint debate that is at hand. A couple of months ago I refused to order the new formulation of Piggy Paint because it contained Methylisothiazolinone (Neolone 950), which is a toxic chemical ingredient.

Piggy Paint Claims to be Non-Toxic and Chemical-Free

So Piggy Paints mission was to make a nail polish that was natural as mud and I commend them for trying to make something that was safe for little ones to wear. However, I can not accept the fact that they do have toxic chemicals in their nail polish and still market to the younger children. Parents who may ordinarily not put nail polish on their children are doing so because they believe the marketing hype – but the truth is: Piggy Paint non-toxic nail polish does contain toxic chemical ingredients.

Their website claims:

“Piggy Paint is specially formulated from God’s natural ingredients and dries to a hard, durable finish. There are  no toxic chemicals; it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. “

Now, a couple of months ago they changed their formula and included the toxic chemical Methylisothiazolinone which is now listed as Neolone 950 on their website. Methylisothiazolinone or MI or MIT is a common preservative that is often used to replace parabens.

What is Neolone 950 or Methylisothiazolinone?

Neolone 950 is the name for Methylisothiazolinone or MI or MIT. It is used as a preservative in cosmetics and is known to cause skin allergies, rashes, itching, hives, blistering and other forms of skin irrirtation. In-vitro studies showed it to be highly toxic to mammalian cells. In Canada the use is restricted and must no exceed the allowable dosages. In Japan, concentration limits exists when MI is used in combination with other ingredients.

Should Piggy Paint Use Toxic Chemicals Like Neolone 950 in Their  Nail Polish?

Piggy Paint can do whatever they like with their nail polish and ingredients, but they should, at the very least, tell the consumers and retailers what they are doing. By branding their product as safe and natural, they are gaining trust from consumers and retailers and running the risk of misleading them.

From my point as a retailer, I was not impressed when I got my re-stock of Piggy Paint and noticed the new ingredients on the labels. I was not informed by Piggy Paint that the formula had changed and had it not been for me ordering new colors, I never would have checked the ingredients since it was a product I had been selling for two years.

Piggy Paint should tell their retailers, who ultimately are gaining consumer trust and putting their own reputation on the line. If they wish to sell Piggy Paint, they should fully know what the product is all about.

For consumers, Piggy Paint should re-consider how they wish to market their product. Piggy Paint is safer than conventional nail polish – true! But saying it is as “natural as mud?” this may need to be modified slightly. The issue is consumers are smart and getting smarter! They know to do their research and read ingredients, so it’s only a matter of time before this blows up in someone’s face.

Piggy Paint Misleading Consumers and Retailers Saying Nail Polish is Non-Toxic

With the addition of Neolone 950 or MIT, I can’t see how Piggy Paint can really call it’s nail polish non-toxic. Neolone 950 or Methylisothiazolinone is listed as a 6 for EWG rating. It is toxic and should be referred to as such.

Piggy Paint non-toxic nail polish Ingredients: Water, acrylates copolymer, butoxy diglycol, Neolone 950. May contain mica, red 34 lake, ultramarines, titanium dioxide, iron oxide pigments.

The more calls I get from consumers, the more I know Piggy Paint is aware of this situation since consumers tell me they’ve already complained to Piggy Paint. They may soon change the way they market their product and in doing so, the consumers will at least know what to expect when putting the nail polish on their child or infant.

I commend the owner for wanting to make a safer nail polish, I really do. And I loved working with Piggy Paint for the last couple of years. But my mission is to provide the safest products I can find and when Piggy Paint added the chemical MIT to their mix, it meant I could no longer endorse Piggy Paint in my store.

The problem out there is too many companies are green-washing their products and claiming they are natural and safe and many consumers believe the claims. By stepping back a bit and calling this nail polish “the safer nail polish” you would not be misleading anyone and could feel right about how you are presenting this product to consumers and retailers.

As always, I encourage consumers to do their research and try to find the best products they can. Nothing is perfect I suppose but sometimes it’s about choosing the lesser of the evils and going with the safest on the market – they key is in knowing what you are using and understanding what all the ingredients are – then you can make your decisions!

I always appreciate feedback and encourage you to contact Piggy Paint with your concerns, as I know they started their company with good intentions and feel they still want to provide the safest polish that there is – they just may have to do some modifications to get there.


Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Babies & Kids, Cancer


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21 responses to “Piggy Paint Non-Toxic Chemical-Free Nail Polish Contains Toxic Chemicals

  1. Jeannie

    June 25, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I noticed that the website that you are affiliated with still sells some colors of piggy paint. I was wondering if it was because these particular colors don’t contain the chemical neolone 950. Thanks so much for your article!

    • tamaralaschinsky

      July 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Jeannie,

      Yes, that is exactly why I have a few colors left of Piggy Paint. When I got my last order of Piggy Paint it had some new colors my customers wanted to try. I checked the ingredients out just to see what was different to make one supposedly glow in the dark and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Methylisothiazolinone (MI aka Neolone 950) on the label! I sent those back and after learning that ALL future bottles of Piggy Paint would contain MI, I made the decision to find another non-toxic nail polish since MI is considered toxic and I couldn’t say (with good conscience) that Piggy Paint is non-toxic anymore. Although I was told by the manufacturer that the amount of Neolone 950 is very small, is it still a chemical and a chemical is a chemical! I have those few colors left and was lucky enough to be contacted by Hopscotch Kids. They rank a 1 on EWG, have been mentioned many times in People Magazine and after trying their polish out – I’m happy to say I love it even more than Piggy Paint (as does my daughter!) Very glad I could find another alternative and still offer safe products to my customers.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Kenyette

    May 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm


    I am searching for non-toxic nail polish, and am just reading the ingredient list for Piggy Paint and Hopscotch. I see butoxy digycol and acrylic copolymer in both. Isn’t the first a solvent? The latter contains acrylic acid, which is not deemed safe for cosmetics. Please give your thoughts as I seem to be running into road blocks in my quest for genuinely non-toxic nail polish.

    • tamaralaschinsky

      June 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Hi there, sorry for the delay in reply! I am not sure a truly ‘true’ safe nail polish exists. Nail polish in general is like a paint, meant to adhere to and harden on the nails. Others are better than others but I don’t know of any that don’t have copolymer binding agents in them. They are allowed in cosmetics thought in cases where ‘low absorption’ can be expected. Even peel off polish can contain it so basically, if you are going to paint your child’s nails they should not chew on them and eat the polish.

      Compared to the other options on store shelves (some still containing some of toxic trio) these polishes are safer but of course, the safest would be none at all.I am more of the thought of “changing what we can.” If there is safer option to what I’m using, I’ll go for it. It may not be perfect but if it’s better than the other stuff I’m in. I don’t paint my nails too often, nor my daughters but when we do, I choose Hopscotch Kids over anything else.

      As for Piggy Paint, I stopped carrying their line in 2012 after they failed to disclose to their retailers and customers that they added the preservative Neolone 950 (Methylisothiazolinone) to their new formula. I have a few older bottles of theirs but never brought in the new stuff since they, in my opinion, are no better than other green-washing companies, trying to say they are ‘Natural as Mud” but yet did not openly say or admit that they now have Neolone 950 in their product.

      • Kenyette

        June 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm

        Thanks for your reply! I am buffing them for now, but may look into Hopscotch.

      • tamaralaschinsky

        June 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

        I do like Hopscotch very much and will also look for new ones on the market. Cheers!

  3. Jack

    October 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Hi, Tamara
    I must take issue with you concerning your claim that Neolone 950 is toxic as used in nail polishes. I refer you to a primary source for toxicity testing: Neolone_950.pdf. I think you should shift your focus away from claiming that Nelone 950 is toxic under all conditions but rather towards insisting that nail polish manufacturers preserve their polishes with Neolone 950 at levels below those proven to be safe but still effective.

    • tamaralaschinsky

      October 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you for your comment Jack, I do appreciate you taking the time to offer your suggestions. I do stand by my decision to not use Neolone 950 (Methylisothiazolinone) in any of my cosmetics, nor in those that I sell. It is toxic to humans, and highly toxic to the environment (EPA), corrosive and has been shown to display a variety of health concerns. It is allowed in cosmetics ingredients as a ‘restricted’ use and even though brands like Piggy Paint are using Nelone 950 in concentrations that are lower than EU standards (yes, I know all about that because I used to sell Piggy Paint until I learned on my own that they changed their formula without telling retailers) I still avoid products with ingredients that are on a flagged list.

      To each their own of course and if you want to continue making/formulating the product (since it seems you are interested in my encouraging the use of Nelone 950) then go for it. However, my viewpoint will not change and as my two favorite chemists Perry & Dene will confirm, I am quite set in my beliefs!

      Now, show me some human studies with long-term use and health analysis as well as environmental impact after long-term exposure and I am open to reviewing the information. However, from what I see of the chemical (from sources like EPA, CDC etc) is that the ingredient does have concerns and that’s enough for me to avoid it.

      Thanks for your feedback though Jack, I do appreciate debating both sides of the fence! 🙂

  4. Aubrey

    October 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Tamara,
    I’m curious as to what preservative Scotch Naturals / Hopsctoch Kids is using in their formulas; and why it’s not listed on their packaging / website? I’ve reached out to the direct, but have not received a response. Based on my research, there is a high risk of microbial contamination in any water based formula. Your thoughts?

    • tamaralaschinsky

      October 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Aubrey,

      That’s a great question and one I asked years ago when I was considering selling Hopscotch Kids instead of Piggy Paint in my store. They use none. Even the formulator for the Piggy Paint nail polish at one time allowed his formula to be modified to not have any preservatives in it. I used some of those bottles back then and never had any issues. From everyone I’ve talked to and myself included, I’ve never had a problem with any of the nail polishes without preservatives – no mould growing or deadly diseases.

      Good question though and one many others have asked too. I have some bottles that have been opened for almost 2 years now and they are fine. We totally clean our nails first before applying anyways but nonetheless, our bottles (personal use) have been opened over a year and are doing good.

      I like how many natural manufacturers use essential oils (like rosemary) as well that are designed to be a natural preservative and reduce the need for other alternatives. Honey is another great ingredient and I love using products with honey for their anti-bacterial properties! I certainly say kudos to companies who look at natural ingredients as preservatives when they are required!


    May 7, 2013 at 8:20 am

    You’re so cool! I don’t think I’ve read anything like that before. So wonderful to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  6. maria

    June 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    yessss! thanks a whole bunch. i am in the process of switching over to natural cosmetics and super happy to have come across your blog. thank you for sharing your insight and experiences with all. so i was looking into Go Natural nail polish and was super excited to order some until i began researching each ingredient. all of the other ingredients look fine…until of course i made it to MIT. i hoped for another natural, non odor, non toxic polish and pretty polish… and so, as an adult i shall try Hopsctoch Kids. unless of course there is one for big kids. : ) thank you! any suggestions for natural make-up products?

    • tamaralaschinsky

      July 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      Hi, I am so sorry for the delay in reply!

      I use Scotch Naturals for adult nail polish – same company. I have just been made aware though that the red colors use CI colorants (coal tar) so please be aware of that. (If they didn’t use that for coloring they’d have to kill 60,000 pregnant beetles instead to make a polish which goes agains their ethics, so they choose CI colors for their reds & pinks). I use their gold and neutral colors.

      I use Pure Anada for my cosmetics and love them. Suncoat as well is very good. Hope that helps, feel free to ask any other questions. The quickest way to get a reply would be posting on our facebook page ( or emailing!

      Cheers! 🙂

  7. Jessica

    March 2, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Hello, I see this post is from a few years ago. Has Piggy Polish removed this ingredient? Their website doesn’t list it. Here’s what it has:
    Piggy Paint Ingredients Water, acrylates copolymers, melia azadirachta (neem oil). May contain: mica, red 34 lake, ultramarines, titanium dioxide, iron oxide pigments.

    • tamaralaschinsky

      March 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      I don’t know, I stopped buying their stuff. When they first put MIT into their product they didn’t update their website either until customers started asking/complaining. I don’t know why they’d put neem oil in there as neem is unsafe for children I’d be more worried about the neem than anything! I’d also have concern over the red lake 34.

      • Jessica

        March 3, 2014 at 6:33 am

        Thanks for the quick response! I was actually looking into Piggy Polish for myself (an adult). I stopped using nail polish about a year or so ago because of concerns about the chemicals in it, but I’d like to start using it again.

        I searched “Sula” on your site and didn’t find anything. If you have any comments on their paint and peel polish, I’d like to hear them. Other polishes I’m looking into are Suncoat, Honeybee Gardens, Scotch Naturals, and Acquarella. I’m committed to a water-based polish. It sounds like most of them do not last more than a few days. Knowing that, I thought one that peels off would be nice, which is how I found Piggy Polish in the first place.

        Thanks again for your blog and time.

      • tamaralaschinsky

        March 6, 2014 at 2:21 am

        Suncoat is good but the colors can be off a bit but I like them. Hopscotch is a bolder color and glossier. On the fingers mine don’t last Long but they do on my toe nails! I haven’t used the other brands. Hope that helps! 🙂

  8. Ella

    March 26, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Is Zoya a good choice?

    • tamaralaschinsky

      April 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      No nail polish is perfect and you want to avoid any formaldehyde and other really toxic chemicals. According to Zoya’s new formula it looks pretty ok – compared to other alternatives. You can learn more here: For kids I would stick with something like Hopscotch Kids or even Suncoat though. Hope that helps!


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